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posted by janrinok on Friday May 10, @01:51AM   Printer-friendly

The next Swiss Army Knife won't have a knife:

The Swiss Army Knife has become such a shorthand for multifunctionality that companies producing does-a-lot-of-stuff wares will often say that their goods are the "Swiss Army Knife" of whatever category they're a part of. You can use the tool to cut stuff, snip stuff, uncork stuff, file stuff, in some cases download stuff.

But Victorinox, the company behind the famous gadget, is working on a Swiss Army Knife without the knife part.

"We are in the early stages of developing pocket tools without blades," a spokesperson for the company told CNN. Though it won't be discontinuing its bladed version, the company has been trying to figure out how to serve customers in places — specifically England and some Asian countries — where knives aren't as welcome a pocket sight than in other markets. The British government, for example, is considering new legislation on carrying blades in public.

The Swiss Army Knife has its roots in 1880s Germany. Then the Swiss Karl Elsener took production over the border. Soon a competitor emerged in the company Wenger, and for a while the Swiss government split its orders for the tools between the two of them. Wenger called its version the "genuine" Swiss Army Knife, and Elsener's Victorinox called its version the "original." The two companies ended up merging in 2005.


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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by krishnoid on Friday May 10, @02:05AM (12 children)

    by krishnoid (1156) on Friday May 10, @02:05AM (#1356395)

    And then they can just call it a knife [youtu.be].

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Friday May 10, @02:27AM (8 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 10, @02:27AM (#1356398) Journal

      The more memorable version of that scene, I think - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSnosk4tWrg [youtube.com]

      I just can't imagine carrying around a multi-tool that lacks the tool(s) that I use most often. I don't own a Bowie knife, like old Croc man, but I have knives everywhere. Little fingernail cleaning knives, kitchen knives galore, a machete or three, a genuine M6 bayonet (fits the M14 battle rifle) three or four "survival" knives, and various folding pocket knives. A day doesn't pass that I don't have some use for a knife. I'm not even going to try inventorying all the knives that belong to my kids and grandkids laying around the property.

      So, I'm going to buy a toolbox that fits in my pocket, and leave out the tool I use most often? Geez, Louise, that looks like a stupid move to me.

      --
      ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by fliptop on Friday May 10, @04:01AM

        by fliptop (1666) on Friday May 10, @04:01AM (#1356405) Journal

        A day doesn't pass that I don't have some use for a knife

        This. I have a folding blade pocket knife that I always carry w/ me. I also have a swiss army locking blade that has just a knife (I know, right?) that I use for hunting b/c it has a partial serrated edge that's perfect for sawing through cartilage and bone. My favorite knife is my Cold Steel [coldsteel.com] that I carry when camping. I've batoned a lot of firewood w/ that.

        --
        Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by SomeRandomGeek on Friday May 10, @03:54PM (6 children)

        by SomeRandomGeek (856) on Friday May 10, @03:54PM (#1356454)

        Huh. I have just the opposite experience. The only knives I use frequently are kitchen knives. And those get cleaned and stored carefully between uses. The idea of cutting my food with with a knife that's been in my pocket all day and used for all kinds of things is frankly disgusting.
        So, for me, a tool that has scissors, tweezers, screw driver, etc., but no knife blade seems fine.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mhajicek on Friday May 10, @05:05PM (5 children)

          by mhajicek (51) on Friday May 10, @05:05PM (#1356461)

          Do you work with things, or with data? I'm having a hard time imagining a job working with things, that wouldn't require a knife on the regular.

          --
          The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
          • (Score: 2) by SomeRandomGeek on Friday May 10, @06:53PM (2 children)

            by SomeRandomGeek (856) on Friday May 10, @06:53PM (#1356472)

            I work with data.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by sjames on Saturday May 11, @02:50AM

            by sjames (2882) on Saturday May 11, @02:50AM (#1356518) Journal

            I always carry a butterfly knife in the data center. Perfect for one handed opening and closing. Because it's always AFTER you finally get the right cable in hand that you discover someone went zip tie happy.

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by driverless on Monday May 13, @12:22PM

            by driverless (4770) on Monday May 13, @12:22PM (#1356808)

            I work with users. Carrying a knife is a must.

            Alongside bottles of bleach and black plastic rubbish bags.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, @02:40AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, @02:40AM (#1356400)

      Looking forward to seeing this new product. I normally carry a "Mini Champ" which is the same length as the little knife & scissors manicure version, but is thicker with a number of extra tools including flat & Phillips screwdrivers, bottle opener and others.

      Of course, I can't carry this on airplanes anymore, so feel a bit naked when traveling. Without the blade (which I don't use all that often), perhaps this new version will be OK with the stupid TSA?

      • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Sunday May 12, @11:01PM

        by Mykl (1112) on Sunday May 12, @11:01PM (#1356718)

        Without the blade (which I don't use all that often), perhaps this new version will be OK with the stupid TSA?

        According to the Magic 8-ball - "Outlook not so good"

    • (Score: 4, Touché) by sjames on Friday May 10, @03:11AM

      by sjames (2882) on Friday May 10, @03:11AM (#1356402) Journal

      Because a spork will hurt more?

  • (Score: 2) by Frosty Piss on Friday May 10, @02:36AM (1 child)

    by Frosty Piss (4971) on Friday May 10, @02:36AM (#1356399)

    So, another multi-tool like hundreds of others?

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, @03:47AM (9 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, @03:47AM (#1356403)

    The British government, for example, is considering new legislation on carrying blades in public.

    So are they thinking of banning them completely?

    https://www.gov.uk/buying-carrying-knives [www.gov.uk]

    The exception to these 2 rules are folding pocketknives that:

    • have a cutting edge no longer than 3 inches
    • are not lock knives (they do not have a button, spring or catch that you have to use to fold the knife)

    Getting stabbed with a pair of scissors or a screw driver is still going to do some damage.

    Does this imply that too many British parents haven't been raising their kids properly?

    Maybe the Government should look into how to provide good science based advice on raising children properly. Yes I know some people who breed don't care; but there are likely many parents who actually want to do a good job, but don't know how to. Or what they do know is worse than could be.

    People are a foundation for civilization. So being able to producing decent people is as important if not more important as being able to produce decent concrete, steel, etc.

    A bridge is not built using just steel and concrete alone, but with people. If you have crap people, even if the steel and concrete are good, the bridge might not ever be built even if a lot is spent on it.

    • (Score: 2) by looorg on Friday May 10, @09:31AM

      by looorg (578) on Friday May 10, @09:31AM (#1356427)

      he exception to these 2 rules are folding pocketknives that:

              have a cutting edge no longer than 3 inches
              are not lock knives (they do not have a button, spring or catch that you have to use to fold the knife)

      So it shouldn't apply to the Victorinox Swiss army knives then? As I recall it those blades are not very long, or have a long cutting edge nor are they locked, or if they are locked the lock is so weak that its broken by slight force. Bigger models might require more force and such but I wouldn't want to fight anyone or anything with that blade since it will fold over and cut you to if struck in the wrong direction. It's good for cutting small cables and opening containers and such. That is about it. In that regard it might hurt more if you get stabbed with other implements on the tool. Like the tiny screwdrivers, you could probably jam those in with force.

      I have a couple of them. They were all gifts. Still with that said I'm not a big fan. I think I mainly use mine to clean dirt from under my fingernails and cutting my nails. I'm not even sure where I placed one of them. One is in the bathroom and one in the office. But cleaning dirt and opening small boxes that is about it as far as usefulness goes imo. Perhaps that is how it usually is, you find one or two things and then use them for that. All the other things remain in large unused -- so I mainly use the small blade and the tiny scissors. I have not really found a use for the other tiny implementations.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by turgid on Friday May 10, @10:22AM (6 children)

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 10, @10:22AM (#1356428) Journal

      You can actually be arrested in England for carrying a screwdriver if the police officer suspects you're up to no good.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by janrinok on Friday May 10, @11:18AM (1 child)

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 10, @11:18AM (#1356429) Journal

        Yes, but that same law ('Going Equipped to Commit a Crime" (usually "Going Equipped to Steal")) applies to lots of things, Bolt cutters, foil lined bags designed to defeat shopping tags, crow bars, wire cutters (used to remove shopping tags), lock picks etc without a reasonable explanation as to why you are carrying them.

        --
        I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, @07:14PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, @07:14PM (#1356475)

        You can be arrested and prosecuted in the UK for having a butter knife on, or about your person in a public place.

        https://www.casemine.com/judgement/uk/5a8ff72760d03e7f57ea8c78 [casemine.com]

        The law is a bit more nuanced when it comes to screwdrivers, they're no longer automatically to be considered bladed/pointed articles as far as the Offensive Weapons Act is concerned, but unless you've a good excuse for having them on your person, they'll get you via 'going equipped' or another catchall law.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by janrinok on Friday May 10, @07:53PM (2 children)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 10, @07:53PM (#1356482) Journal

          It sounds like your experiences with your local police forces are very different from mine.

          I have lived in Morayshire (Scotland), Lincolnshire and Kent and had occasion to carry a machete to and from exercise areas. I have never had a problem from the police. I understand that many others will have had different treatment. I was always permitted to travel to and from exercise areas (sometimes several hundred miles away), but I would have had no justification for stopping in a pub en route for a few beers.

          If you are carrying a 'bladed article' on a night out with friends then you are breaking the law.

          --
          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by sjames on Saturday May 11, @02:53AM

      by sjames (2882) on Saturday May 11, @02:53AM (#1356519) Journal

      This seems amazing to me (in a bad way). A pocket knife USED to be considered suitable for older pre-teens.

  • (Score: 4, Touché) by Barenflimski on Friday May 10, @03:59AM

    by Barenflimski (6836) on Friday May 10, @03:59AM (#1356404)

    I have a new machine gun. It doesn't have a hammer or barrel. I use it to measure the length of items.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by darkfeline on Friday May 10, @05:36AM (18 children)

    by darkfeline (1030) on Friday May 10, @05:36AM (#1356414) Homepage

    What a sad note to put in the history books. The knife is the symbol of humanity. It is the first tool we made and used, and which we have continued to make and use to this very day. It is a tool whose use as a weapon is a rounding error, and yet we've become so afraid (some might say, cucked) that we've banned it in more than enough situations to be worrying, as a parent might worry for a child that bangs their head against the ground repeatedly.

    --
    Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by mhajicek on Friday May 10, @06:48AM

      by mhajicek (51) on Friday May 10, @06:48AM (#1356419)

      Meanwhile, anyone who wants to make a gun at home has several decent options to choose from.

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by shrewdsheep on Friday May 10, @08:36AM (3 children)

      by shrewdsheep (5215) on Friday May 10, @08:36AM (#1356422)

      From the company side it is just business to keep selling into markets where the traditional knife might become outlawed. From the society side of things it is once again because of idiots that we cannot have nice things. The latter is sad indeed, but these are the times we live in. It is an exasperating question of how to contain the idiots without taking away freedoms.

      • (Score: 5, Touché) by DadaDoofy on Friday May 10, @12:29PM (1 child)

        by DadaDoofy (23827) on Friday May 10, @12:29PM (#1356437)

        Especially when the idiots are the ones taking away freedoms.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, @08:14PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, @08:14PM (#1356486)
          not sure what else you expect to happen when there's no end in sight to people being killed.
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by khallow on Friday May 10, @01:19PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 10, @01:19PM (#1356441) Journal

        It is an exasperating question of how to contain the idiots without taking away freedoms.

        Sigh. As I noted [soylentnews.org] years ago:

        We all lose when we regulate everyone as if they were the worst of idiots. If you're tightening regulations all the time because there are idiots, then you are doing it wrong. The idiots won't stop being idiots.

        My take is that for non-idiots, it isn't an exasperating question. It's not that hard to contain idiots. It just requires us to accept that we'll read about a certain amount of Florida Man in our news stories.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by ElizabethGreene on Friday May 10, @12:34PM (12 children)

      by ElizabethGreene (6748) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 10, @12:34PM (#1356438) Journal

      I have to agree. Our kin have been finding, making, and carrying around sharp bits of this and that since before the existence of our species. Stepping away from that loses something.

      I EDC a Leatherman wave in places where it's allowed, and a chert flake in places where it isn't. In a giggle-inducing bit of irony, I was at a facility that has bag checks and metal detectors last night for a comedy show and used my lucky rock to zip open a nigh-indestructibly blister packed flashlight for one of the security guards.

      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday May 10, @01:51PM (11 children)

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 10, @01:51PM (#1356446) Journal

        The proposed (and existing) laws regarding knives are not quite as draconian as some would have you believe.

        It relates to knives having a cutting blade over a specific length over over 3 inches. That should be more than sufficient to clean one's fingernails, cut a piece of cord, sharpen a pencil, or to assist a security guard to get access to his torch :). There are additional limitations (which do not apply to Swiss Army style knives) about lock knives etc.

        I have owned a machete for many years. I used it during survival training many times during my military service. There was nothing stopping me from owning it because I had a reasonable excuse for doing so and it was only ever carried in my rucksack until I was out in the field on exercise. Anyone carrying a knife in a public place has to be able to justify why they are carrying it at that specific time. Saying 'I need one for work' is not a valid excuse if you are standing in a bar, but is perfectly reasonable for, say, a farmer to justify carrying one all day long on his farm. But if he carries it into a public place then potentially a law is being broken.

        --
        I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday May 10, @01:58PM (10 children)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 10, @01:58PM (#1356448) Journal

          What is the new UK Knife Law for 2024?

          Although the law hasn't been finalised yet, it is likely to ban knives over 8" with two of the following three criteria: 1) A fine edge 2) A serrated edge 3) Two or more holes in the bladed portion of the knife. This is likely to become UK law in 2024.

          --
          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
          • (Score: 2) by quietus on Friday May 10, @07:00PM (9 children)

            by quietus (6328) on Friday May 10, @07:00PM (#1356473) Journal

            Will this new law also apply to knifes carried in a backpack? I'm asking because (a) that's already the case when you board high-speed rail from Paris to London, and (b) a red alert situation I had with Scottish border guards when returning from a Highlands hike, back in 2004.

            • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday May 10, @07:43PM (8 children)

              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 10, @07:43PM (#1356480) Journal

              As I understand it, if you have a reasonable justification for carrying a knife of any size then it is permitted. For example, a chef can carry his own set of knives (some with blades much bigger than 3") to and from work. He would have no justification for carrying them if he was making visit to a local bar. It is similar to carrying a firearm if you are licenced to hold one. You may travel with it secured in your vehicle to and from a shooting engagement. It must not be removed from its case or cover during the journey nor can it be left unattended.

              The problem you might have - and IANAL and I am NOT your lawyer - is that you now facing specific laws which are intended to counter terrorism and involve international agreements and the laws of 2 different countries. The easiest way would be to ask at your local police station. There might already be a protocol for doing exactly what you want to do.

              --
              I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
              • (Score: 2) by sjames on Saturday May 11, @02:59AM (6 children)

                by sjames (2882) on Saturday May 11, @02:59AM (#1356520) Journal

                What happens if the chef wants to stop for a pint on the way home from work?

                • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday May 11, @05:50AM (4 children)

                  by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 11, @05:50AM (#1356530) Journal

                  You would have to ask a policeman for the answer to that. Can he justify why he is carrying his knives in a public place? The police might agree with his justification, but he might find his knives being confiscated and subsequently destroyed, and he might also be arrested and charged. It isn't a difficult law to understand.

                  --
                  I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                  • (Score: 2) by sjames on Saturday May 11, @11:45PM (3 children)

                    by sjames (2882) on Saturday May 11, @11:45PM (#1356595) Journal

                    Apparently, it is. Otherwise you would know exactly what would or would not happen if the chef stops for a pint on the way home. It seems to actually be beyond knowing since it goes into the vagaries of if the cop's corn flakes were soggy that morning.

                    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Sunday May 12, @05:20AM (2 children)

                      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 12, @05:20AM (#1356623) Journal

                      The rule is very simple, you a merely looking for edge cases. The police anywhere always have a degree of discretion. The law itself is states that the carrying of a knife with a cutting edge greater that 3" in public is an offence.

                      If you travel at speed limit+1mph in a limited zone - you are speeding in excess of the limit. Here, a policeman would probably not issue a ticket but would be acting correctly if he did so. Discretion is being exercised. The courts would decide if the policeman acted appropriately.

                      If 2 neighbours are arguing with each other in public then they can both be charged with disturbing the peace. Every policeman I have know would simply try to calm the situation rather than charge the people involved in the first instance. Again it is a matter of discretion.

                      Likewise in the hypothetical case you are creating. If the policeman felt that the 'chef' was still sober, that the knives were still not in public view, and that no significant breach of the law had taken place then he would be able to exercise his discretion. Alternatively, could he take several minor measures such as asking the chef to leave the bar and continue on his way home, or he might confiscate the knives but allow the chef to reclaim them from the police station sometime later, or so on.

                      If you live in a place where the police abuse their powers then that is the issue that must be addressed, not the laws that the police are tasked with enforcing on society's behalf.

                      --
                      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                      • (Score: 2) by sjames on Monday May 13, @07:04PM (1 child)

                        by sjames (2882) on Monday May 13, @07:04PM (#1356830) Journal

                        you a merely looking for edge cases

                        I see what you did there...

                        The problem isn't discretion, the problem is when a law is such that normal daily activities and reasonable freedoms depend on that discretion.

                        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Monday May 13, @08:24PM

                          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 13, @08:24PM (#1356840) Journal

                          That discretion has worked more often for me than against me.

                          --
                          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Monday May 13, @05:38PM

                  by ElizabethGreene (6748) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 13, @05:38PM (#1356825) Journal

                  It's not safe to make assumptions. That's the problem with subjective enforcement. Abuses of the law are rare, and the public guffaws discourage it, but it happens.

                  :|
                  https://inews.co.uk/news/black-tradesmen-searched-met-told-dont-look-like-electricians-2973519 [inews.co.uk]

              • (Score: 2) by fliptop on Saturday May 11, @03:30AM

                by fliptop (1666) on Saturday May 11, @03:30AM (#1356521) Journal

                You may travel with it secured in your vehicle to and from a shooting engagement. It must not be removed from its case or cover during the journey nor can it be left unattended.

                I understand the unattended part, if I'm not mistaken the #1 way guns (in the US) get onto the black market is they're stolen from cars.

                However, I'm glad I live in a state that recognizes constitutional carry. I carry mine everywhere I'm legally allowed to. Places you're not allowed are pretty much obvious, courthouse, post office, schools / school bus, sports arena. You can carry in a bar if you're not drinking. Even my bank allows concealed or open carry.

                --
                Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
  • (Score: 5, Touché) by DadaDoofy on Friday May 10, @12:27PM (5 children)

    by DadaDoofy (23827) on Friday May 10, @12:27PM (#1356435)

    Knife control? Are you kidding me? After firearms and knives, suffocation is the third most common form of murder. What's next, authorities going door-to-door amputating peoples' arms?

    I've got an idea. How about we arrest criminals for breaking the laws already on the books against assault, battery, armed robbery, murder, etc., and then actually prosecute them? I know it's a concept that is all but impossible for some people to wrap their heads around.

    And by the way, there are a number of things other than blades on a Swiss Army knife that can kill a person.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Friday May 10, @01:22PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 10, @01:22PM (#1356442) Journal

      How about we arrest criminals for breaking the laws already on the books against assault, battery, armed robbery, murder, etc., and then actually prosecute them?

      This. Murder with knives isn't legal in the first place.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Freeman on Friday May 10, @01:33PM (1 child)

      by Freeman (732) on Friday May 10, @01:33PM (#1356444) Journal

      They still have a Corkscrew on it?

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 5, Funny) by janrinok on Friday May 10, @01:53PM

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 10, @01:53PM (#1356447) Journal

        I can't imagine any UK politician outlawing corkscrews - how on earth would they get through their day???

        --
        I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
    • (Score: 3, Touché) by optotronic on Saturday May 11, @01:39AM (1 child)

      by optotronic (4285) on Saturday May 11, @01:39AM (#1356510)

      In some cases it may be desirable to prevent a murder even if the murderer can be arrested afterward.

      • (Score: 2) by DadaDoofy on Saturday May 11, @05:09PM

        by DadaDoofy (23827) on Saturday May 11, @05:09PM (#1356561)

        Do we lock everyone in their own cage to prevent any potential murders from occurring? If not, what's to stop people from beating each other to death with their bare hands?

  • (Score: 2) by pvanhoof on Sunday May 12, @12:04PM

    by pvanhoof (4638) on Sunday May 12, @12:04PM (#1356645) Homepage

    Being or having been a Scuba Diver we use Dive Line cutters far more often than actual knifes. At least the divers who care about diving as safe and correct as possible and who don't want to look like Rambo underwater.

    https://www.scubasupport.nl/us/eezycut-eezy-cut-line-cutter.html [scubasupport.nl]

    Big Rambo knifes underwater make no sense and and just dangerous to yourself, the fish and also other divers. But most importantly the fish: that you kill yourself and other divers sometimes provides fatty food for the underwater life. Not always but sometimes that becomes a useful source of nutrients. But human idiots with Rambo knifes underwater tend to use them to stab with it at beautiful important creatures.

    For putting butter on a piece of bread somewhere in the mountains in Switzerland you can also best use a non-sharp knife. For cutting tree branches you need a saw. And finally for chasing off other tourists you need a gun.

    So yeah. No need for the knife/blade component in the Swiss Army Knife.

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